Some first year students who have gained admission into public Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the Sunyani Municipality have expressed appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the implementation of the free SHS programme.
Describing the programme as laudable, the students affirmed that the free SHS had brought great relief to their parents, and they promised to study hard to justify the gesture.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a visit to some of the schools on Tuesday, the fresh students, who had come with their parents to collect prospectus, said the implementation of the programme had scored the government higher mark in national politics.
The schools visited included Odumaseman SHS, Sunyani SHS, Twene Amanfo Senior High/Technical School, and the Notre Damme SHS.
Some of the fresh students who have successfully gained admission into boarding house were seen arriving in the schools during the visit.
The students, who mostly spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity, pleaded with the government to shun critics of the free SHS programme and concentrate on its sustainability through realistic strategies for the benefit of would-be SHS students.
“I am extremely happy to benefit from this programme, and it is my prayer and hope that it will continue to benefit others,” one of the fresh students stated.
Another student said she was worried because the school authorities had asked her to go back to the Junior High School she attended to endorse her placement form before she could access the prospectus.
Some of the parents also lauded the programme but they were unhappy with the list of items to buy for their children who had gained admission.
“The list of items is too much. If the programme is free please let us enjoy it rather than to give us so many items to buy. This item will cost more than GHC 500 which is too much to bear”, Madam Agnes Oforiwaah, one of the parents stated.
Meanwhile, some of the continuing students have expressed unhappiness with the free SHS policy, stating that the implementation of the programme was discriminatory.
“When the New Patriotic Party announced the free SHS in its 2016 election manifesto, we were all happy because we thought the implementation of it will benefit all of us”, one of the students said.
“We are all Ghanaians so why are we also not benefiting from the free SHS programme,” another female student queried.